In-law complaints are legion. Getting married seems to be an automatic trigger in some families to turn on the dislike switch. Statements like, “I’m marrying you and not your family,” highlight the fact that people anticipate having in-law problems from the onset of marriage. It does not have to be that way.
Your in-laws are not perfect, but they did raise your spouse.
This means that you should see at least a few of the characteristics in them that you find attractive in your mate. If you understand what your in-laws want from you, it will go a long way toward defusing current and future in-law problems. If you can get along with your in-laws, it will give you a better chance of having a happier marriage in the long run.
You need to treat your spouse properly.
Do not lose sight of the fact that to your in-laws, you are married to someone who still holds a special place in their affections. Their protective instincts do not shut down and go away just because their child in now your spouse. You are being evaluated largely on the basis of how you treat their family member. If they view you as a good mate for their son or daughter, most of the time they will like and accept you.
Be friendly and a part of the family.
Unfortunately, during the dating and wedding phase of a relationship, future spouses are often treated like aliens from space. Instead of being welcomed and loved, they are held at arms length and stared at like zoo animals. Distrust and cynicism abound. As a result, you may feel like an outsider in your spouse’s family.
Most families want to reverse this after the wedding, but the barrier can be hard to tear down. If you can put problems from the past behind you, your in-laws usually want you to be friendly and act like you are part of the family. If you do this in most families, you will receive the same in return.
Keep an even temper.
Moody and quick tempered people have problems with far more people than their in-laws. If you have problems with anger, get some professional help to overcome it. Your in-laws want someone who is predictable in a good way. Being moody and having a flash temper will not make your in-laws want you around. It may even cause them to work to get their son or daughter to go shopping for a new spouse.
If your family needs your income to make it financially, you need to learn to keep a job. Your in-laws want you to give them a feeling of security about the financial well-being of their child. Hardworking wage earners are always regarded positively by the in-laws. You do not have to be rich. Just be responsible.
Be a consistent and good parent.
Grandchildren are important to your in-laws. They worry about their provision and safety. Grandparents also want to see their grandkids being treated fairly. Learn to be a good parent. No one really expects perfection. Try not to be offended when the in-laws make suggestions about how to raise your children. You can gently let them know that you want to raise your children your way. However, if they smell abuse, neglect, or improper care being given, they will be quick to come to the rescue.
Work on being dependable and helpful.
As a part of the family, you are expected to be willing to step in and help when you are needed. Family members who avoid helping out when needed are not usually viewed positively. Make a habit of not waiting to be asked before stepping up and helping if you see something that needs your attention. While you are not expected to be the family slave, you are expected to act like you care about the extended family needs.
Try to be a good conversationalist.
A big problem with many sons-in-law and daughters-in-law is that they do not carry their side of a conversation very well. They answer questions with a word or two or a very short sentence and then follow it with silence. If you know the family, you should be able to be engaged in conversation. When your in-laws see you talking non-stop with friends and then will not talk to your in-laws, it will be a natural assumption that you do not like them or do not want to talk to them. Neither of these are make for a good relationship.